Posts Tagged ‘visual studio 2017’

Aspnet core 1.1 and Visual studio 2017 running in Docker container in OSX

August 12th, 2017

I happen to have OSX as host and Win10 as virtual machine.
I have also mapped a folder so it is reachable from both OSX and Windows.
OSX has Docker installed.

Create the project in Windows/Visual studio 2017

Create a blank solution somewhere both Windows and OSX can reach. In this article I chose


Create a solution dialogue.

Whatever dotnet version is visible at the top of the dialogue is not of interesting as we are creating a solution file and not much more and then we add Dotnet core specific stuff. You can search for the template through “empty” or “blank”.

Add an Aspnet core application project. Keep the standard name of simplicity. The path is in the solution \\Mac\Home\Documents\PROJEKT\Solution1

Dotnet version is still not necessary as it refers to Dotnet framework and we are caring about Dotnet core.


Select Dotnet core 1.1. This text is written in August 2017 and Dotnet core 2 is due November. Select WebApi. Do not add docker support. It would probably not make any change but in this exercise we are targeting running the container in OSX. If you change your mind and do want Docker-for-windows support you can always do that later with the click of a button.

When the project is added compile and run to see that all cog wheels are in place and in working order.

Tip from the trenches: Ctrl-F5 compiles, starts the web server and pop ups a web browser in one click, without having to start the debugger.

Note the URL. It is something like http://localhost:2058/api/values where /api/values is something to briefly remember. See that in the browser window there is the text [“value1″,”value2”]. It is created through the Get method in class Controllers/ValuesController.cs the “normal MVC way”.

Publish in Windows

If you right click the project (=activate the context menu in the solution explorer pane on the WebApplication1 project) there is a choice “Publish…”. AFAIK it is used for Windows or Dotnet framework stuff so leave it be.

Instead we use the CLI for restoring, publishing and activating.

If you open the console in windows you cannot use the UNC path we have put the project in. So instead use pushd like so:

> pushd \\Mac\Home\Documents\PROJEKT\Solution1\WebApplication1

Then restore the files with dotnet restore. Restoring in this case means pulling in all dependencies so we have everything we need.

It will look someting like:

> dotnet restore
Restoring packages for V:\Documents\PROJEKT\Solution1\WebApplication1\WebApplication1.csproj…
Generating MSBuild file V:\Documents\PROJEKT\Solution1\WebApplication1\obj\WebApplication1.csproj.nuget.g.props.
Writing lock file to disk. Path: V:\Documents\PROJEKT\Solution1\WebApplication1\obj\project.assets.json
Restore completed in 1,58 sec for V:\Documents\PROJEKT\Solution1\WebApplication1\WebApplication1.csproj.
Restore completed in 1,81 sec for V:\Documents\PROJEKT\Solution1\WebApplication1\WebApplication1.csproj.
NuGet Config files used:
C:\Program Files (x86)\NuGet\Config\Microsoft.VisualStudio.Offline.config
Feeds used:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\NuGetPackages\

Now publish with publish:

> dotnet publish 
Microsoft (R) Build Engine version 15.1.1012.6693
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
WebApplication1 -> V:\Documents\PROJEKT\Solution1\WebApplication1\bin\Debug\netcoreapp1.1\WebApplication1.dll

As we didn’t specify an output path we get the result in bin\Debug\netcoreapp1.1\.

> dotnet run
Hosting environment: Production
Content root path: V:\Documents\PROJEKT\Solution1\WebApplication1
Now listening on: http://localhost:5000
Application started. Press Ctrl+C to shut down.

Note the back slashes and that I never said to change OS. We have just started the web server in Windows.

Check it by opening a web browser and go to http://localhost:5000/api/values

You should have [“value1″,”value2”] as output. Nothing surprising.

Shut down the application (ctrl-c in the console) and refresh the browser to verify that we really are surfing to our site and not Visual studio and IIS(express).

If you want to go spelunking in the container try opening a terminal directly or connecting one.


Open an OSX terminal at your web project, where WebApplication1.csproj is. Typically something like


If you do a dotnet run now you get an error.

> dotnet run
/usr/local/share/dotnet/sdk/1.0.1/Sdks/Microsoft.NET.Sdk/build/Microsoft.PackageDependencyResolution.targets(154,5): error : Assets file ‘/Users/username/Documents/PROJEKT/Solution1/WebApplication1/V:/Documents/PROJEKT/Solution1/WebApplication1/obj/project.assets.json’ not found. Run a NuGet package restore to generate this file. [/Users/username/Documents/PROJEKT/Solution1/WebApplication1/WebApplication1.csproj]
/var/folders/5l/1bssc0z152s_shv8j8nb9htm0000gn/T/.NETCoreApp,Version=v1.1.AssemblyAttributes.cs(4,20): error CS0400: The type or namespace name ‘System’ could not be found in the global namespace (are you missing an assembly reference?) [/Users/username/Documents/PROJEKT/Solution1/WebApplication1/WebApplication1.csproj]

Alas restore, publish and run.

> dotnet restore
  Restoring packages for /Users/username/Documents/PROJEKT/Solution1/WebApplication1/WebApplication1.csproj…
  Restore completed in 784.3 ms for /Users/username/Documents/PROJEKT/Solution1/WebApplication1/WebApplication1.csproj.
  Generating MSBuild file /Users/username/Documents/PROJEKT/Solution1/WebApplication1/obj/WebApplication1.csproj.nuget.g.props.
  Writing lock file to disk. Path: /Users/username/Documents/PROJEKT/Solution1/WebApplication1/obj/project.assets.json
  Restore completed in 1.7 sec for /Users/username/Documents/PROJEKT/Solution1/WebApplication1/WebApplication1.csproj.
  NuGet Config files used:
  Feeds used:

Why we need to restore it again is something I haven’t grokked yet. To be honest – if I hadn’t tricked you into, unnecessarily, restoring on the Windows machine first you wouldn’t have noticed.

> dotnet publish
Microsoft (R) Build Engine version 15.1.548.43366
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
  WebApplication1 -> /Users/username/Documents/PROJEKT/Solution1/WebApplication1/bin/Debug/netcoreapp1.1/WebApplication1.dll

> dotnet run
Hosting environment: Production
Content root path: /Users/username/Documents/PROJEKT/Solution1/WebApplication1
Now listening on: http://localhost:5000
Application started. Press Ctrl+C to shut down.

Open another console and curl:

> curl localhost:5000/api/values

to get the result:


You can of course open a web browser to do the same.

Don’t forget to stop the application if you want to continue as otherwise a file might get locked.

Start container

Install Docker on your mac unless you already have.
You can probably do whatever is described here on your Win10 machine with Docker for windows.
But I happen to have OSX and a virtualised Windows10 through Parallels. It is said to be possible to run Docker for windows in Parallels but then I have to fork out another 50€ (per year?) for the Pro version; and having a virtualised Windows to virtualise yet a machine creates a performance penalty also on the host OS. My machine is running warm and noisy as it is.


docker run -p80:80 -ti –rm -v /Users/username/Documents/PROJEKT/Solution1/WebApplication1/bin/Debug/netcoreapp1.1:/Web microsoft/aspnetcore  /bin/bash -c ‘cd /Web/publish; dotnet WebApplication1.dll’
Hosting environment: Production
Content root path: /Web/publish
Now listening on: http://+:80
Application started. Press Ctrl+C to shut down.

Caveat: For almost a full day I got the error message docker: invalid reference format.
which was somehow related to microsoft/dotnet:1.1.2-runtime
which was wrong because when I rewrote the very same text it suddenly started. My first guess was that there was a hidden character somewhere but I rewinded to an earlier command that had failed and suddenly it worked.

If you care already now about the parameters for docker run they are:

I did not want to make this quick start unnecessary complex by having lots of different ports so everything is running on port 80.
With that said; as Kestrel (the web server we instantiated in Program.cs runs in aspnet it talks on port 80. Then we open a hole in the container from port 80 to port 80. This latter is what -p80:80 means.

This gives us a terminal, of sorts, and something about how it receives commands.

This one cleans up after our run so there is no halted container wasting hard drive space when the container stops.

-v /User….:/Web…
This parameter lets the continer use /Web to reach folder /User… where we have put our code.

This is the name of the image we use. An image is to a container what a class is to an object.
In this article we don’t adapt the microsoft/aspnetcore image, created by microsoft especially to run aspnet core solutions, to anything but use it as it is.
As we have not specified a version we get the latest.
Microsoft has many images for different uses.

Execute a command in bash.
The command happens to be “start the web server”.

Call the web server in the container

Then open another terminal and curl:

curl localhost:80/api/values

Yay! The web server in the container runs your dotnet core web application.